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June 22, 2012

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Increase Productivity: Take Your Dog to Work

By Kim Boatman for The Dog Daily

Today is Take Your Dog to Work Day, which is designed to draw attention to the bond we have with our dogs and to the many dogs available for adoption. More than this, dogs, their owners and employers may all find that having a pet at work makes for a happier workplace and an increase in productivity.

Here’s how everyone can benefit.

Take Your Dog to Work Day

office dogsTake Your Dog to Work Day showcases the benefits of having a dog around the office. A 2006 survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) found that nearly 1 in 5 companies allows pets in the workplace. Participants said pets make for a more creative work environment, improve employee attendance and productivity, and help employees relate better to each other. “Having a dog -- or any pet -- around has a soothing and mood-lifting effect on people,” explains Lori Meyer, a pet sitter and dog walker in the Los Angeles area. “When people are happy and calm, they are more productive.

Allowing people the opportunity to meet and interact with their co-workers’ pets increases the bond and camaraderie between co-workers, leading to a cohesive team atmosphere and a positive work environment.” Several dog owners were happy to share their tales about working with their best pals by their side.

Raising Luna in the Store

Luna began coming to work when she was just an 8-week-old puppy, says Robin Banchik, owner of Crystalarium, a store that sells crystals and related items in West Hollywood, Calif. “She loves being at the store, and everyone seems to enjoy her as well,” says Banchik. “She’s now an 8-pound, 5-year-old fluffball who dives into her bag to come to work every morning. As soon as she gets to the store, she jumps out and says good morning to each of her friends. She’s one of the gang.”

The Chief Morale Officers

Golden retrievers Maddie, Zoe and Gracie are considered Chief Morale Officers at BroadReach Public Relations in Portland, Maine, says Kate Bachman. They help the BroadReach staff stay healthy, relaxed and productive. “Most days of the week, the dogs are in the office,” she says. “Having them around reduces stress in the office. How can you be frazzled when petting a loveable golden retriever? It gets the staff outside periodically for walks, which adds to our healthy atmosphere and even encourages our social media efforts since the dogs have their own Facebook profiles, ‘author’ blogs and provide amusing photo content for our company’s social media outlets.”

Dogs as Icebreakers

dogs at work The assortment of dogs that show up at Phoenix-based advertising agency Moses Anshell offer real appeal for the firm’s clients, says Chris Fiscus, director of public relations. “They definitely are a great icebreaker, either for potential clients or for clients,” says Fiscus. “On most days, numerous dogs are here. The clients love them, and some even swing by to chat about something that could have been handled by email. The dogs are one of the secret weapons to the agency being named one of the top 20 creative shops in the country by Creativity magazine. “They’re a huge part of the culture,” says Fiscus.

Sharing Puppy Love

Every day is Take Your Dog to Work Day at Yost Engineering in Portsmouth, Ohio, says marketing manager Amy Shropshire. “We have 18 employees and sometimes up to six dogs with us,” she explains. “It’s really nice to be able to take a break from your day and play with them.” In fact, the dog-friendly atmosphere helped sway Shropshire when she took the job -- even though she doesn’t own a dog. “I don’t have a dog myself, but I love them,” she says. “This way, I get to have six dogs, even though I don’t have room in my studio apartment for one!”

Kim Boatman is a journalist based in Northern California. She is also the managing editor of Boatman's work has appeared in The Miami Herald, the Detroit Free Press and the San Jose Mercury News. She is a lifelong lover of animals, and a frequent contributor to The Dog Daily.

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